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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Underwater Volcano Discovered

a gigantic shield volcano has been discovered under the ocean

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, September 8, 2013/Categories: natural history, environment

In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the god of fire and volcanoes. The Roman version was Vulcan, who gave the name for mountains that spew fire and molten rock. They must have been busy fellow as the largest volcano on Earth has been discovered at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean---a shield volcano the size of New Mexico that rivals Olympus Mons on Mars.

Called the Tamu Massif, the gigantic volcano is located approximately 1,000 miles east of Japan at depth of 6500 feet below the ocean's surface. It was identified by a research team from the University of Houston and the findings published in Nature Geoscience.

Tamu Massif  (credit: University of Houston)

The lead researcher, William Sager, commented: “It’s easier to study something on the surface of Mars in many ways than it is to study something that's right out there in the ocean. These things have found a good place to hide.”

The oceans cover 70% of the planet and who knows what other amazing environmental structures and unique ecosystems are still to be discovered around these undersea mountains.

Hephaestus and Vulcan would be proud of their volcanic handiwork.



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